A FACTORY in Co. Kildare has confirmed that 80 members of staff have tested positive for coronavirus.
O'Brien’s Fine Foods, which has tested 243 workers, confirmed that they have suspended operations at their factory in Timahoe, Co Kildare following the discovery.
They're yet to test their entire workforce, so the total of 80 positive cases could be set to increase once all results are in - with 42 workers being tested just yesterday.
The company said that once they identified an employee with symptoms, they followed appropriate procedures and immediately isolated them and initiated a test.
After receiving the positive result back on July 30, the company proceeded to test all its employees, in coordination with the HSE.
Of the 243 tests carried out on most of their workforce, one-third of them came back with positive results.
In a statement, the company said: "We are completing testing of a further 42 employees today.
"All close contacts of those affected are being notified, advised to self-isolate and to contact their GP.
"We continue to assist, protect and support our team whom we engage with on a daily and regular basis and we maintain active engagement with customers and suppliers.
"We thank them for their understanding and support," the company added.
"The decision to suspend all processing operations is a precautionary measures. Following consultation with the HSE, our warehousing facility will operate at minimum staffing and capacity levels.
"A further comprehensive deep clean of the facility is underway and a full risk assessment process has commenced in the interest of employee and public health.
"We will continue to follow public health advice and take every necessary action to comprehensively address the risk in cooperation with the HSE and Department of Health."
It comes amid a slow rise in Covid-19 cases in Ireland, and less than 24 hours after acting chief medical officer Ronan Glynn warned that Kildare, as well as Offaly and Laois could be put under localised lockdown should the rise in cases continue.